Thursday 24 November 2022

Mathew John, Poetry 2022 Shortlist

Half Chai

Half Chai
is meditation
as you get used to
sitting on the steps,
the sweat of working women returning home,
family- full bikes whirring past,
dogs shitting in yellow brown,
the proverbial old woman with a stick,
the pan-spit stains, the finger dips and
the Brownian motion of brown tea powder.

Half Chai -
In this bonsai of a glass
Red brown
Earthen colour
Earthen mirth.

What is there
That I have not known over a glass of tea ?
Love. Anger. The sharing of souls.
Red brown sorrow
Burn the brain - lest it sleep to death.

Half chai
Again and again
Slows down my speed train
Makes crystals out of time
Gives me back
The still of the moment.

For resurrection in the mornings,
Salvation in the evenings
Thank you.
Here, I betray you
For four steel coins.
My half chai,
Crystal maker.


Half Chai – is the local Indian slang for a small glass of tea. ‘Chai/Chay’ means Tea in Hindi.

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